The Science Behind Healthy Habits
Why is it so hard to break bad habits and form new healthy habits? Studies have shown it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and it takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. The amount of time it takes really depends on the scope of the habit as well as the person - some people adapt quickly to routine while others need more time.
There are several theories about how habits are formed but one of the most popular ones is the idea of the three Rs – Reminder, Routine and Reward. The Reminder is a trigger that initiates the behavior, the Routine is the actual behavior or action you take, and the Reward is the benefit from the behavior or action. And they are linked to each other in a continuous loop. When the reward is achieved, you have the desire to repeat the action the next time you experience the reminder/trigger.
If you are trying to break a bad habit, it’s important to identify the reminder or trigger so you can be aware and avoid it. Conversely, tying a new positive action to an existing habit builds in that reminder right up front! Here are some tips to help you stick to your new objective long enough for it to become a good habit!
- Tie to an Existing Habit
The best way to form a new habit is to tie it to an existing habit. Morning routines tend to be our strongest routines so that is a great place to add a new habit! Struggling to get your Glotrition Beauty Elixir in each day? How about making it in the morning and drinking it while you’re getting ready for the day? That way, it’s tied to your morning routine and you’re much more likely to drink it every day.
- Start Small
Pick one thing to work on at a time and then identify small things you can do to incorporate it into your routine. Example - you want to start an exercise routine. Don’t start with plans to exercise 7 days a week. Instead, make a more realistic plan and try to stick to it – you can always add on to it in the future! Can’t get to the gym 3x a week? That’s ok – on the day’s you can’t make it to the gym, go outside and take a walk, even if it’s a quick one! Starting small will make it easier to achieve your goal without becoming overwhelmed and before you know it, your new fitness goal will become habit!
- Reward Yourself
Reward is actually one of the 3 Rs! While the end result is the ultimate reward, celebrating small wins along the way can help you stay motivated. Back to our exercise example – when you complete your weekly exercise goal, reward yourself with new music or a new audio book that you can listen to while working out the following week. Or maybe you want to start a new daily skincare regimen – after successfully completing all of the steps for a complete, reward yourself with a new cheeky lipstick or nail polish.
- Enlist a Friend
Remember when we suggested getting a Glo-friend? See the post here. This is why! If you and a friend or partner both want to start a new healthy habit (or break a bad one,) try doing it together. Social relationships help us stay motivated when we are trying to achieve goals. When we partner up with a friend, it makes us accountable. We check in on each other – we want to know how the other person is doing and we want to make sure we are keeping up and not falling behind. Having a friend or partner who is going through the same experience as you is a great source of support, empathy and motivation.
Good habits happen when we set ourselves up for success!